The Explainer Video

The Explainer Video

As most professionals know, you should always have your 30-second elevator speech ready because you never know when you might run into potential clients or have a need to tell your story in a brief and compelling way. Doing so in about 30 seconds or less (as if you were on an elevator) and still being able to pique someone’s interest in what you do is key to engaging would-be customers. Your online presence is no different since you have a limited amount of time to make a great impression. You really need that same elevator speech to use in an engaging digital format, and that’s what an explainer video is. Explainer videos are essentially marketing videos that businesses use to explain what they do—a digital elevator speech for your brand. As such, any marketing video of this nature should be relatively short and use techniques that grab and keep audience attention.


Increasingly, consumers expect integrated video content online, and surveys indicate that people spend at least one-third of their time online watching videos. With increased user focus on video content, using explainer videos to encourage people to learn more about you and your products or services just seems to make sense. Statistics prove that thinking to be true. Digital business and consulting firm Insivia compiled some compelling statistics about videos that definitely make a case for using marketing videos:


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  • 4 out of 5 people view demo videos as helpful.
  • Using a video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80%.
  • About 74% of online traffic involves video content.
  • Email subject lines with the word “video” included have a 19% better open rate.
  • Four times as many people prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it.
  • Users spend about twice as long on pages with video than pages without video content.

But I’m Not Sexy . . .

We know what you’re thinking. We hear from businesses all the time that their product or service is just not sexy enough for a video. Even when small business owners agree with the statistics and understand how beneficial using videos as a marketing strategy can be, they just can’t picture themselves as the star of a video. They don’t know what to say or where to start. Let’s get beyond that thinking!

First, explainer videos can take on any number of roles. You can have marketing videos that explain your business or brand, that explain a particular service or product you offer, that demonstrate your solution to a specific need. Video design and messaging can also target different audiences at different stages in the sales process. You might create one video as a brief introduction to a product or service and another video that goes into more detail about specific features or benefits to encourage a purchase for instance. Depending on the video’s purpose, you can place the videos on landing pages, on product pages, on social media, and use them in marketing emails.

. . . And Other Stinking Thinking

Being uncertain and uninformed about what kind of video to create and how to create it can also be obstacles to small business owners who stop in their tracks before they even get started. Getting past the fear of the unknown and feeling confident that you can create engaging content can better prepare you to take the leap into video marketing.  Big Commerce outlines 9 types of explainer videos and gives helpful information about each one. Knowing what your options are—from animated 2-D videos to testimonial videos to infographics—can be the first step towards developing a video marketing strategy, so it’s worth researching what’s available. Reviewing video samples is also a great way to get past thinking your product or service isn’t sexy enough for video or that you can’t create great video content.


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Explainer videos use tried and true marketing strategies such as appealing to emotion or need, showing how your brand is exciting or unique, telling a story, or some combination of these kinds of strategies. Seeing what other companies are successfully doing can give you some great ideas to formulate your own video strategy. Adobe Spark has put together some sample explainer videos and tells you what works and why for each of the videos they share. For example, some work because they connect emotionally while and others have a lot of visual features that are appealing. Adobe Spark’s article shows how even small brands make marketing videos work for them. Another good source for explainer video ideas is HubSpot’s “17 Examples of Fabulous Explainer Videos.”

Still think you’re not sexy enough? Still not sure you’ll present well on the big screen? Let’s look at a hypothetical example of a business that’s definitely not sexy: plumbing. How can a local plumber use explainer videos to help market services? The plumber has a story to tell. Who is he or she? Why become a plumber? Are there any guiding principles behind the business? A short explainer video introducing the company team or owner can be a powerful marketing tool and can create a more personal connection to potential customers. A plumber might also create an explainer video about helpful maintenance tips for customers, and customer testimonials about the plumber’s reliability and dependability can go a long way in convincing others to give the company a try. Yes, there are explainer video possibilities even for a business as unsexy as plumbing, and if a plumber can use a marketing video to grow business, so can you!

Tools You Can Use

How do you create an explainer video for marketing? Advances in technology have made available on a large public scale tools that used to be the property of a select few, and video technology is no exception. There are many tools available to help amateurs create powerful marketing messages. You can even use your smartphone to take great marketing photos and create videos. You’ll want to download mobile apps that give you editing capabilities and help get the look you want. Buffer Social tells you about mobile apps that are helpful in creating an explainer video, including products from Vimeo and Adobe.


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Beyond the smartphone, there are downloadable tools—some even free to use—that can create marketing videos for your business. Small Business Trends shared “10 Tools to Create Animated Videos for Business” with links to each product. If you’re the creative type who loves to play with technology, try out these tools to see what you can create for your business and play with the mobile apps to see what works best for you. Of course, if you don’t have the time or inclination to develop your own video content, Hexalinks’ professional marketing staff can help you brainstorm ideas and create the right look for explainer videos and other marketing videos for your brand. We know your business is sexy! Let’s put your products and services on the big screen, increase brand awareness and engagement, and grow your bottom line!  

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